Yummy

Yummy is what it says on the tin – a gooey, delicious, and extremely well-crafted sequence of performances from an ensemble of drag queens who are masters of their respective crafts. Cabaret, dance, and full ensemble numbers are delivered with an elegance that indicates the intense focus and professionalism of the ensemble. The performances in Yummy are outrageous, stylish, and sexually explosive, and each is persistently brilliant.

The performances in Yummy are outrageous, stylish, and sexually explosive.

One of the major delights of the show is that you are introduced to an entire cast of performers with personalities. The Edinburgh run is comprised of Valerie Hex (also Director and Producer), Benjamin Hancock, Karen From Finance, Hannie Helsden, Zelia Rose, and Jandruze. Each member of Yummy brings bespoke skills and indomitable personalities that energise the expansive Assembly Roxy space, and the chemistry between the six Queens is tantalising and collaborative. Roles are evenly spaced and there is never a feeling of one cast member being the ‘star’ at the cost of any of the others. As such, the group numbers are a tour de force. Hex’s direction commands the stage, and the group choreography fires a barrage of sex, skill, and stagecraft straight into the audience, many of whom are struggling to keep up with the provocative parade. Elements of audience participation are encouraged, and each performer can play a crowd to ensure they are screaming for more.

The stage management and use of props in Yummy denotes a creative vision and love of craft. The props are a masterclass in outrageous imagery and comic stagecraft – without spoiling anything, the show is a parade of kink and drag dressed in leather, fur, sequins and latex; each piece has a heavily stylised theme, and opening sequences prove that prop and costume design in Yummy revels in the absurd. The ensemble mine a depth of kink that constantly surprises and entertains, and whilst audience members were laughing and screaming at set-pieces, there was a latent atmosphere of respect too. Yummy have shown a dedication and artisanship that surprises and challenges the drag form.

The show is acutely aware of structure and the importance of rhythm when delivering rapid fire performances. Hex’s direction deserves particular praise, as it intimately understands the relationship between explosive energy and theatrical nuance. The barrage of kink and creativity never becomes tiresome – it is always a joy. Karen From Finance acts as an MC, allowing the audience to resettle themselves after raucous events on stage, and creating breathing space for performers to change and arrange themselves for the next act. Transitions are seamless and smooth, and the show avoids any sense of formula – the stage space feels capricious, explosive, unrepentantly outrageous.

Whenever you can, go and see Yummy. This is modern and progressive drag founded upon a love of craft and expertise. This show is polished. The cast delivers on their mission statement to entertain and provide a space which celebrates the artistry of drag, as well as a love of expression and sex. The show that this award – winning act from Melbourne have brought to Edinburgh is a sheer delight, and one of the cabaret gems of the 2018 Fringe.

Reviews by Skot Wilson

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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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Performances

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The Blurb

Yummy, the Melbourne powerhouse of drag, dance, circus, and music, has been serving smash-hit events in numerous festivals across Australia and beyond. Yummy is the winner of Best Production and Best Ensemble (Cabaret) at the 2018 Greenroom Awards and Best Cabaret at Adelaide Fringe Weekly Awards 2018. This critically acclaimed show is directed by James Welsby and features an all-star cast: Karen From Finance, Valerie Hex, Jandruze, Zelia Rose, Hannie Helsden and Benjamin Hancock. Described as 'a must-see' ***** (Advertiser, Adelaide, 2018), Yummy is an absurd, fascinating, and outrageous experience.

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